HMS ASTUTE (ASTU) elevated its status on a global stage in the form of Football

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The Submarine Service is renowned worldwide as an Elite Force. But in the limelight this time was its prowess in a different field. HMS ASTUTE (ASTU) elevated its status on a global stage in the form of Football by taking itself International on a mission to build relations and raise awareness for its charity The Submarine Family (TFS). Recognised for their effort to support such a wonderful week was British Forces Gibraltar (BFG) who were to host ASTU for the week. On the day of their arrival ASTU were fixtured to play BFG at 1900, with the stage set at Devils Tower Camp (DTC), overshadowed buy the infamous Rock. Meeting with the host for the week WO Graham ‘Bailsy’ Baily, LH Perry, the Manager and sponsor of ASTU for their stay met. After a coin toss from the ASTU football CPT, AB Toop & Bailsy, the game was underway. BFG went 4 – 0 up in the first half, showing determination and an excellent defensive play from ASTU they managed to not concede in the second half. After grinding down the defence, a set piece allowed ASTU to claw a goal back. The final score was 4-1 to BFG, a fine display from both sides. On the second day ASTU did the infamous ‘Rock Run’ (RR), in the name of TSF. An excellent effort from the team completing it in 32 minutes. The third day ASTU was beginning to show fatigue from all aspects of the physicality and climate presented in Gibraltar. Nevertheless, the stage was set once more for ASTU V HMS MEDWAY (MEDW) at DTC. ASTU were determined more than ever to reap a victory from their tour. After the first half ASTU had gone 3 nil up, instilling a sense of confidence into the team allowing a lovely display in midfield controlling the ball in the opposition’s half. MEDW were also just as passionate, led by their CPT AB Matthewson, an AWW Gunner aboard MEDW, showing an excellent demonstration in defence. Unfortunately, it was not good enough as LH Murphy buried a further 2 goals and AB Chesney the MOTM (Man of The Match) saw himself to a hat trick. The final score 7-0 to the Mighty Gundogs from the Clyde. The penultimate day prior to ASTU departure from the Rock allowed a day of leisure, power boating around the Rock and a spot of cliff diving for the squad. A pleasant rest for the hard-working Sailors from the Waterfront. Alas, it was time to return to HMNB Clyde, an extended gratitude to BFG and MEDW for showing true sportsmanship. A young Warfare Specialist (SM) serving on ASTU had this to say “this was what the Navy was all about for me, making long lasting friends, going to foreign places and staying fit. I can’t thank the Navy enough for giving me these kinds of opportunities, I can’t wait to do it all over again” – AB Greenaway.